Landon 27 StA 26

This game mattered. The 15 Bulldog seniors wanted to leave the Mount with the first winning record in five years. The 8 members Landon 2017 Class wanted to leave the White Rocks with a win. A comparison of the team records should almost exact replicas of Ws & Ls and scores against common opponents. It was a battle of the talents of the two offenses- The QB and WRs of StA and the Bears running attack. Both teams relied on complex defensive schemes to blunt the attack of their opponents. The points allowed gave the Bears a slight advantage in points allowed per game (StA + 6.0 per IAC game).

The Bulldogs elected to receive the kick-off and moved the line of scrimmage 28 yards in 6 plays. A hit by a Bear defender (sorry missed who caused and who recovered) caused a fumble. The relentless Bear blocking and gifted running backs flew down the field (42 yards) in 6 plays. Jelani Machen showed his speed on a 19 yard sprint around the end for a TD @ 6:53. Aaron Broner successfully converted the PAT BEARS 7 BULLDOGS 0

The visitors responded with a three pass, three run balanced offense ending with a 21 yard run with a successful kick at 5:11. BEARS 7 BULLDOGS 7

Landon responded with a few good plays, but its drive was stymied by a penalty and a fumble. StA’s next possession resulted in a TD (9 plays; 65 yards). The clock flipped into Q2 and the Bulldogs scores was at 11:16 of the second period. BULLDOGS 14 BEARS 7

The visitors then learned the German phrase “MACHEN Geschwindigkeit” which roughly means watch Jelani Machen run the kickoff 95 yards back for a TD @ what the scoreboard showed as 11:11. Boner PAT was good BEARS 14 BULLDOGS 14

 

The teams traded possessions and the Bear’s Broner did the ultimate coffin corner punt, putting the ball at StA’s own 2 yard line. The Bulldogs showed their spirit animal’s characteristic—stubbornness. It drove down the field 47 yards all through the air, but a fumble was recovered by Bear LB Carter Johnson. His offensive teammates had a three-and-out experience. Another good punt gave the StA boys the ball with a minute to play. A bad center-QB exchange resulted in a fumble which a Bear defender recovered. Two runs and a John Geppert to MACHEN put the ball in the end zone with o:14.6 remaining BEARS 21 BULLDOGS 14

HALFTIME

Landon received the 2nd half kickoff and fumbled to StA. The visitors attempted to return the favor by fumbling on the next play, but they covered the errant spheroid. Landon earned two TFLs (Maanik Lal and Josh Chapman) retarded the opponents advance, but the StA QB and his talented receivers were able to get into the end zone at 8:14. Then one of those little moments which impact outcomes occurred. On the StA PAT, Jalen Williams flew around the corner and blocked the kick, BEARS 21 BULLDOGS 20

Landon turned the ball over on the ensuing set of downs and the Bulldogs scored on a 8 play possession ending in a running TD. The Bulldogs tried to recapture the one point of their previously blocked PAT with a 2 point play. It failed as a swarm of Bears stopped the attempt. At 1:46 of Q3 Bulldogs 26 BEARS 21

Bear determination was demonstrated after the subsequent StA kickoff. Nine runs, one incompleted pass were needed to get the 67 yards to cross the goal line. The last 19 yards were covered by #19 Zayd Delane @ 7:21 of Q4. Landon attempted to add to its margin with a 2 point attempt; it failed BEARS 27 BULLDOGS 26

Big Bear Fan and a man of unCommon Sense, Thomas Paine L’76 (16th century) remarked “these are the times that try Bears’ souls.” The Ursine fortitude was bared. The Broner kickoff flew over the end zone endline to put the Bulldogs on their own 20 yard line with 7:21 left, plenty of time to unleash the StA explosive passing offense to earn a minimum of 3 points.

On second down the visitors’ QB dropped back to pass and was rudely introduced to Mo Sillah, who brought the Bulldog to ground. Two plays later a pass to one of the StA big WRs, who had the strength and speed to turn short passes into long gains. Not this time, Jelani Machen knocked the pass down. On the 4th and 11 yard play, a nice pass across the middle arrived in the hands of an StA receiver for a sure 1st down. At the same time that the spheroid entered the WR’s hands, John Geppert arrived simultaneously and his hit caused the opponent to drop the ball of an incompletion. Ball to Bears with 4:57.

Landon husbanded the ball as the Bulldog hands attempted to create a fumble. The series consumed almost 2 minutes, leaving 3:03 for the visitors to try to win their 6th game in 2016. Aaron Broner boomed a 57 yard punt to reverse the field.

1st and 10 at the Landon 48 for StA. First play was one of their effective bubble screen. The receiver turned to advance the ball, but surprise, Bear Geschwindigkeit brought the big Bulldog down for a 1 yard loss. Three consecutive incomplete, well defended passes turned the ball back to the Bears. The clock indicated that 3:03 remained; a mistake here would provide their IAC rival with a chance. Again, it was critical to possess the ball, i.e. not to fumble, and to eat up the remaining 123 seconds. Runs of two yards, a three yards and a yard set up a huge down—4th and one with 1:21 left. John Geppert bulled his way to get the first down and then shocked the opponents with a touch pass to Joey Epstein. Two kneel downs brought the clock to 0:00.

 

BEARS 27 BULLDOGS 26

 

Critical kicks, a blocked PAT, impressive defensive plays when needed and an offense which made the key blocks/runs made this a TEAM WIN.

EVIDENCE THAT THESE StA GAMES MATTER:

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LANDON STATISTICS

Rushing

Player                  carries        yards           TDs

Delane                12               66               1

Machen              7                 55               1

Epstein               8                 47

Baylor                 5                 35

Herbert                1                 2                          

                             35               205             2

Passing

Passer                 attempts    yards TDs

Geppert              6                 3       1

Receivers

 

Player                  catches      yards TD

Machen              1                 6          1

Epstein               1                 14

Porter                  1                 10              

                             3                 30

Kickoff returns

Player                  returns       yards          TD

Machen              1                 95               1

Delane                1                 14

Baylor                 1                 21

Punting

Punter                  kicks           yards          average

Broner                3                 126             42       [longest= 57]

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Published in: on November 13, 2016 at 2:29 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] The Bears finished the 2016 season on a positive note beating the Bulldogs of St. Albans 27-26 late in the game, the Bear O scored the go-ahead TD, the Bear D stopped the StA passing attack, the Bear O made critical clock-busting plays and the special teams netted +8 points. 2017 is already looking brighter. For more details click here. […]


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